Watermelon is the perfect summertime dessert. Cool, refreshing, deliciously sweet and you don’t have to turn on the oven. (Which I think we can all agree is the last thing you want to do when the temperature is soaring outside.)
But best of all? This warm weather favorite is packed with some surprising benefits that mean you can both have your dessert and be healthy too.
Following are seven unexpected health benefits you’re getting every time you indulge in a slice of this summertime favorite.
1. Fights inflammation:
Watermelon is a good source of two powerful antioxidants, lycopene and vitamin C. This dynamic duo helps fight inflammation and oxidative stress.
In a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, the combo successfully slashed several markers of inflammation. And other research has linked lycopene to a reduction in the inflammation associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
2. Lowers blood pressure:
According to research published in the American Journal of Hypertension, lycopene-rich watermelon could help you reduce your blood pressure. In the study both volunteers diagnosed with prehypertension, as well as those with stage one hypertension, saw significant improvements in their numbers when taking a watermelon extract.
3. Could reduce cancer risks:
Watermelon is brimming with free-radical busters including…
- vitamin C
- beta carotene
Experts say these powerful nutrients could help lower your risk for certain cancers, including cancers of the prostate and colon.
4. Provides choline:
Choline is the very definition of a multitasker. It plays lots of different roles in the body, effecting everything from how well you sleep to how well you learn. And it turns out watermelon is a good source of this often overlooked nutrient.
Choline plays a role in muscle health and memory. The nutrient helps your body absorb fat and maintain the integrity of your cell membranes. And choline even lends the lycopene and vitamin C in watermelon a hand in reducing inflammation.
5. Prevents constipation:
Watermelon is both high in fiber and water content making it a perfect food to prevent constipation, and help you stay regular.
6. Protects your eyes:
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) can slowly steal your eyesight as you age, eventually leaving you blind. But experts say the lycopene found in watermelon can help keep your eyes healthy, and reduce your risk of AMD.
7. Eases muscle soreness:
Maybe you worked out too hard. Or perhaps you simply spent a bit too much time gardening. No matter what triggers them, muscle aches can ruin your days and keep you from sleeping soundly at night.
But it turns our watermelon could be the cure. Downing a slice of juicy, delicious watermelon can help you avoid the aches before they even get started.
The key is citrulline, an amino acid that experts say naturally reduces muscle soreness caused by overuse.
Watermelon doesn’t just taste good, it’s good for you. So go ahead and feel free to indulge in your favorite summertime dessert guilt free.